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SalusCare Presents CHAMPION Award to Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto

SalusCare, Inc., presented its first ever “Champion Award” August 14 to Florida Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto in honor of her dedication and consistent support of increased funding for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.

SalusCare Board Chair Marshall Bower (right) and SalusCare CEO Kevin Lewis present first ever Champion Award to Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto
SalusCare Board Chair Marshall Bower (right) and SalusCare CEO Kevin Lewis present first ever Champion Award to Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto

Benacquisto received the award from the SalusCare Board of Directors and SalusCare’s 450 employees on behalf of the 17,000 patients SalusCare treats annually.

“Being a Champion means you are a defender, an advocate and a supporter. Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto stands out among her peers as a champion for mental health and substance use issues,” said Marshall Bower, SalusCare Board chairman.

Bower said Benacquisto is responsible for Community Action Team (CAT) services being available in Lee County through her steadfast advocacy that led to $675,000 being appropriated by the Florida Legislature for the Lee County model program.

Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto and SalusCare Board Member Scot Goldberg
Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto and SalusCare Board Member Scot Goldberg

The CAT program at SalusCare offers a community-based treatment solution for parents and caretakers of more than 100 mentally ill children as an alternative to residential treatment and/or psychiatric hospitalization.

Lee County was the only county in Florida to receive the funding on a recurring basis due to Benacquisto’s efforts, Bower said.

“Not since former Lee County Commissioner Bob Janes has another elected official in our area been so supportive of mental health and substance use issues,” Bower said.

For more information about the CAT program, call the SalusCare Welcome Center at 239-275-3222 or visit www.SalusCareFlorida.org.

SalusCare Vice-Chair Larry Hart and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto
SalusCare Vice-Chair Larry Hart and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto